I have posed this before, but rarely get a response. It's a difficult question, but one I would like some thoughts on. What are the 21st skills that we want our teachers to model?

This is a data collection for a research paper. So if you would include your name, where you are located, and your experience I would appreciate it.

Thanks for your help.

Also, if you are willing, I have a problem statement and questions on my blog at http://kpruitt.edublogs.org

Tags: PD, development, education, modeling, professional, reform, skills

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this is from one of my blogs, thinking about the topic you are asking about: It's about thinking skills, for the student, for the teacher, for the one's own particular self.

Mel Levine's article in Educational Leadership, "The Essential Cognitive Backpack," is about the cognitive tools people should ideally have, upon completion of high school. Although I don't see the toolset there that I currently would like to install in my brain, there are clearly plenty of others that make up the essential "stuff of education." They're what we're all about, as teachers. My take on it:

Equip your kids' minds with thinking skills. Have them move outwards from there. Give them a nudge if they need it, and they probably won't, because when people feel they have the tools, they generally set about to make something.

Ok, I'm running a checklist on my current backpack items, from Mel Levine's article. . Hmmmm...."Inner direction?" I have that, lots of it. "Instrumentation"? Pretty good. "Interaction"? Good when I'm not too obnoxious--generally I'm ok in that sphere, if a bit klutzy. It's a charming klutziness, surely.
So what am I lacking? Spatial reasoning. That's not too bad, as my cognitive backpack overall is pretty full.

But people should study us, we the people with no directional sense whatsoever. Do people with less well-developed spatial reasoning have trouble with internet navigation, or with Web 2.0 applications?

Not me.


I just use a batch of alternate tools, and it works out fine. It works out fine because I've got a well-furnished toolkit and am always actively learning. (I have a kind of "shareware" going on pretty regularly, with "free social downloads" that I'm responsive to. So if I bump into someone and spill their coffee--which is likely, given my clumsiness,I just ratchet though my tools and come up with one for the situation, such as profuse apologizing, laughing to lighten things up, or the showing of abject horror and regret on my face while running to get a cleaning cloth. I get the "social download shareware" of a bop on the nose, a look of disdain, or a shared laugh. I learn from it, and move on.)

My toolkit for Web 2.0 work:

don't worry about a lack of direction; pathways reconnect
plunge forth and create pathways
just keep trying
be playful
ask others for help
get out of the state of anxiety
mess around
find the people whose thoughts nourish you, and find their people
whose thoughts nourish them, connect
create networks
keep telling yourself you're not really lost
that the laws of spacial relations are new here

dream of what's possible. It probably is.

keep going.

So, Ken, does that help at all with your examination of the skills we want our teachers to model? That's just my personal take on it. But it may add up, if we get a lot of personal visions; there will be some common ground, I bet.

Connie Weber, Ann Arbor, 30 years teaching experience, elementary, MS.
Your question #3 from your blog:
"Will adequate resources encourage teachers to integrate technology into their curriculum?"

My answer is no, they will not. We have the best 3 techies you can imagine, and pretty darn good equipment and availability. Most classroom teachers do not get into Web 2.0 stuff at all, or any kind of computer work. They are resistant, overwhelmed, and discouraged.

What I've found works--and the ONLY things that works (it's the Secret Weapon, at least from my experience): appeal to the "teacher as helper" side of the educators, ask whether they'd be willing to help some kids along with a project in which the students are student-teachers, learning how to teach technology to others. Would they (the teachers) be guinea pigs for this project?

Most teachers are willing to "help" with this sort of thing. You then tell them to select an area they'd like to learn more about, such as photo management, email, making podcasts, creating multi-media presentations, whatever would be relevant in their teaching or personal lives.

The next step is to match up a kid (4th graders on up seem to be able to do this very well) with the teacher, telling the kid to walk the teacher gently though the skill, and telling the teacher thank you for letting the kid get this training. It's a win-win situation. We've brought along a good number of teachers this way; it's a gentle way to get launched into a new world of learning.

Hope that helps. Just one more way to go about things...
Oh, I've been working on this one for a while! Let me copy/paste from the Life Practice Model that Kevin Honeycutt and I've been working on. It's a bit rough, but I think teacher skills come from what we develop as student expectations. You'll see we draw heavily from many sources, but very much the 16 Habits of Mind by Art Costa.

These are the "habits" we'd like to see all children develop, especially at the middle school ages:

* Personal Habits are the essential tools required for developing life-long growth. These personal habits carry over into all aspects of a person's life. e.g., self-reflection, self-evaluation, metacognition, impulsivity control, open to wonderment and awe, sense of humor, creator, imagining, courage
* Career Habits are the essential tools required for developing career enjoyment and growth in the world of work. e.g., collaboration, leadership, effective communication, teamwork, consideration, courtesy, self-motivation, pride in personal accomplishment, innovation, timeliness, patience, technological fluency, complex problem-solver, versatilist, inquisitive
* Knowledge Habits are the essential tools required to develop and grow a solid informational platform. On this base of the Triumvirate, one creates a platform of who you are as a person. e.g., reading, writing, arithmetic, but also how to continue to learn, unlearn, and re-learn for informational purposes.

These are the behaviors we'd like to see students demonstrate on a near-daily basis:
* collaborative
* questioning
* personal-growth oriented
* reflective
* self-evaluative (of work)
* meta-cognitive (own behaviors)
* self-directed (which includes motivation and control of impulsivity)
* creating
* imagining
* flexible
* wonderment
* open to continuous learning
* sense of humor
* persisting
* empathetic
* communicator
* helps to read "compass"

The teacher becomes a role model for all of the student behaviors and also demonstrates the following behaviors:
* thought-provoking
* creating a sense of urgency
* challenge students and create "speed bumps" to student comfort-levels
* daily project mentor in students' learning process/behaviors
* keeper of the "compass"
* always looking for ways to provoke creative thinking and expression
* encouraging the use of 21st century skills, tools and behaviors

In order for these previous behaviors to take place the school community must develop the learning environment into a place where people:
1. Expectation of freely accessing information with teachers and students as learners in the Web 2.0 (and 3.0) world
2. Build a trusting community of active and ravenous learners
3. Learning community is questioning, searching for accuracy and precision in work
4. Communicating to the world through varying modes of distribution / publishing / feedback / revision
5. The concrete and virtual surroundings emulate Current and FUTURE world of work

Environment is NOT:

designed to allow elitism (student/student, teacher/student, teacher/teacher)
entirely teacher-created
ingenuine (needs real-world, real relationships)
blocked (technology tools)
afraid of or resistant to change
alone in an echoing room
learning in a vacuum that lets work disappear after one presentation
"good enough" from either teacher OR student
geographically isolated
economically isolated
politically isolated
confined to a specific time, place, or person

Student behaviors are NOT:
accepting of "good enough" as a final product/behavior
thoughtlessly accidental
"producing THE answer"
based on a single answer
singular in nature

Teacher behaviors are NOT:

accidental / unintentional
saving students from struggling
concentrating efforts on one group of students
tunnel vision
expecting one type of product or thinking
limited in expectations
isolated or disconnected
allowing students to give excuse
Well, apparently my post was too long, so I'll just end with:

Name: Ginger Lewman
Location: Kansas
Experience: 13 years in secondary education as sub, para, social studies teacher, gifted coordinator, and now coordinator of face to face services at a charter school.
That is a supreme list. I hope it's ok, I'm going to post this for myself on my desktop. I'd like to put it up on an artistic posterboard in the class. Would you be ok with this? Oh my gosh; you seem to have gotten it all down; it can be used for The Basic Guide! Thanks for your insight and illumination of What We're Going For!
I agree with others here -- this is a great list.
I like how you include the school community into the mix. We all too often feel isolated in our classroom that we forget that we are part of a larger community (and getting larger all the time as local and global connections are being made).
Thanks for sharing
I liked the way David Warlick puts it: exposing, employing, expressing and ethics. Exposing refers to finding, decoding, evaluating and organizing information. Employing refers to using information to solve problems, draw conclusions, etc. Writing becomes expressing compelling messages with text, images, sound, animation, and video. And ethics needs to be added to emphasize the ethical use of information which includes seeking truth and expressing it, minimize harm, be accountable, and respect and protect information infrastructure - ideas and information. He was describing contemporary literacy when he presented these ideas but I believe that as teachers we need to work on these skills first so we can then teach our students those skills they need to have. You see, to me it's not about the things you use (technology) but about how you use them.

Julia Osteen
Technology Instructional Lead Teacher
Norcross, Georgia, USA
20 years classroom experience
EdS in Instructional Technology
A grand summary.
Just have to say, it's so great to have such deeply-thoughtful colleagues. These discussions lay out a broad, connected view of the challenges in front of us in education. To me, notes from colleagues are like buoys in an unfamiliar bay. This community helps define what "staying on course" is all about. (And even that is a rather open and evolving concept. The point is, we're in this and evolving together, with children's--and teachers--best interests in mind.)
Great start for a Sunday afternoon. Thank you, I hope we can keep this going. I will add that if you have referenced or are willing to reference any published info will you please add some infor that I can build a citation from. Thanks

Anyone have any experience with APA and group forums?
David Warlick's information is on this page: http://davidwarlick.com/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.RedefiningLiteracyFo...
My blog post where I took notes during a presentation by David Warlick is here: http://reflectionsfromthetrenches.blogspot.com/2007/06/session-note...



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